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As a small business owner, you’re posting to your social media platforms, checking your posts for comments, and responding to these comments. But, did you know that there are many other conversations happening on social media where your business could be talked about but you’re missing out because you weren’t tagged?

By missing these conversations, you’re missing opportunities with potential customers and resolving issues for your existing customers. Through these conversations, a business can see how others view your company and your brand.

What is social listening?

Social listening is actively monitoring conversations that are occurring across many different social media platforms about your brand, products, your competition, or industry-related and relevant keywords.

Why is it important?

Social listening allows you to be proactive in conversations about your brand. You can take initiative and create opportunities instead of waiting for them.

You can identify happy, satisfied customers and thank them by giving them a special discount or offer. Social listening allows you to provide customer service and avoid potential PR nightmares by offering to help unhappy customers.

Social listening also allows you to find and connect with the social influencers in your industry. You can stay ahead of your competition by staying on top of industry trends.

Social listening tools

There are plenty of tools available to help you with social listening. Here are a few of my favorites.

Hootsuite Insights: You’re probably already using Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. Take it one step further and investigate Hootsuite Insights. There are a great set of tools specifically aimed at social media listening, they also include an analysis of sentiment, trend-tracking, and in-depth performance reports.

Sprout Social: Sprout Social has a great set of tools available for social monitoring, customer service, or social media and social listening analysis.

Brandwatch: Brandwatch offers a robust set of tools that allows you to see what your competitors are doing, follow influencer marketing, and much more.

Can you hear me now? More importantly, can you hear your audience?

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